Churchill on the Stimulus Package

Churchill on the Stimulus Package

No, Sir Win­ston has not inter­rupt­ed his first mil­lion years in heav­en to com­ment on the U.S. Government’s “Fis­cal Stim­u­lus Pack­age.” And I’m not going to sug­gest what he would think of it—heaven for­bid. I’ve just sift­ed through Churchill by Him­self for applic­a­ble quo­ta­tions, rang­ing them in strict chrono­log­i­cal order. Draw your own conclusions:

“You may, by the arbi­trary and ster­ile act of Government—for, remem­ber, Gov­ern­ments cre­ate noth­ing and have noth­ing to give but what they have first tak­en away—you may put mon­ey in the pock­et of one set of Eng­lish­men, but it will be mon­ey tak­en from the pock­ets of anoth­er set of Eng­lish­men, and the greater part will be spilled on the way.”  —WSC, BIRMINGHAM TOWN HALL, 11 NOVEMBER 1903

“Where you find that State enter­prise is like­ly to be inef­fec­tive, then utilise pri­vate enter­pris­es, and do not grudge them their prof­its.”  —WSC, ST. ANDREW’S HALL, GLASGOW, 11 OCTOBER 1906

“Every new admin­is­tra­tion, not exclud­ing our­selves, arrives in pow­er with bright and benev­o­lent ideas of using pub­lic mon­ey to do good. The more fre­quent the changes of Gov­ern­ment, the more numer­ous are the bright ideas; and the more fre­quent the elec­tions, the more benev­o­lent they become.”  —WSC, HOUSE OF COMMONS, 11 APRIL 1927

“There are two ways in which a gigan­tic debt may be spread over new decades and future gen­er­a­tions. There is the right and healthy way; and there is the wrong and mor­bid way. The wrong way is to fail to make the utmost pro­vi­sion for amor­ti­sa­tion which pru­dence allows, to aggra­vate the bur­den of the debts by fresh bor­row­ings, to live from hand to mouth and from year to year, and to exclaim with Louis XV: ‘After me, the del­uge!’”  —WSC, HOUSE OF COMMONS, 11 APRIL 1927

“Squandermania…is the pol­i­cy which used to be stig­ma­tised by the late Mr. Thomas Gib­son Bowles as the pol­i­cy of buy­ing a bis­cuit ear­ly in the morn­ing and walk­ing about all day look­ing for a dog to give it to.”  —WSC, House of Com­mons, 15 APRIL 1929

“Demo­c­ra­t­ic gov­ern­ments drift along the line of least resis­tance, tak­ing short views, pay­ing their way with sops and doles, and smooth­ing their path with pleas­ant-sound­ing plat­i­tudes. Nev­er was there less con­ti­nu­ity or design in their affairs, and yet toward them are com­ing swift­ly changes which will rev­o­lu­tion­ize for good or ill not only the whole eco­nom­ic struc­ture of the world but the social habits and moral out­look of every fam­i­ly.”  —WSC, “FIFTY YEARS HENCE,” STRAND MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 1931

“I do not think Amer­i­ca is going to smash. On the con­trary I believe that they will quite soon begin to recov­er. As a coun­try descends the lad­der of val­ues many griev­ances arise, bank­rupt­cies and so forth. But one must nev­er for­get that at the same time all sorts of cor­rec­tives are being applied, and adjust­ments being made by mil­lions of peo­ple and thou­sands of firms. If the whole world except the Unit­ed States sank under the ocean that com­mu­ni­ty could get its liv­ing. They carved it out of the prairie and the forests. They are going to have a strong nation­al resur­gence in the near future. There­fore I wish to buy sound low priced stocks. I can­not afford any oth­ers.”  —WSC TO HIS STOCKBROKER, H.C. VICKERS. 21 JUNE 1932

“Change is agree­able to the human mind, and gives sat­is­fac­tion, some­times short-lived, to ardent and anx­ious pub­lic opin­ion.”  —WSC, HOUSE OF COMMONS, 29 JULY 1941

“Noth­ing would be more dan­ger­ous than for peo­ple to feel cheat­ed because they had been led to expect attrac­tive schemes which turn out to be eco­nom­i­cal­ly impos­si­ble.”  —WSC TO FOREIGN SECRETARY, PAYMASTER GENERAL AND PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE, 17 DECEMBER 1942

I do not believe in look­ing about for some panacea or cure-all on which we should stake our cred­it and for­tunes try­ing to sell it like a patent med­i­cine to all and sundry. It is easy to win applause by talk­ing in an airy way about great new depar­tures in pol­i­cy, espe­cial­ly if all detailed pro­pos­als are avoid­ed.”  —WSC, BLACKPOOL, 5 OCTOBER 1946

“The idea that a nation can tax itself into pros­per­i­ty is one of the crud­est delu­sions which has ever fud­dled the human mind.”  —WSC, ROYAL ALBERT HALL, 21 APRIL 1948

“Social­ism is the phi­los­o­phy of fail­ure, the creed of igno­rance, and the gospel of envy.”   —WSC, PERTH, SCOTLAND, 28 MAY 1948

“The choice is between two ways of life: between indi­vid­ual lib­er­ty and State dom­i­na­tion; between con­cen­tra­tion of own­er­ship in the hands of the State and the exten­sion of own­er­ship over the widest num­ber of indi­vid­u­als; between the dead hand of monop­oly and the stim­u­lus of com­pe­ti­tion; between a pol­i­cy of increas­ing restraint and a pol­i­cy of lib­er­at­ing ener­gy and inge­nu­ity; between a pol­i­cy of lev­el­ling down and a pol­i­cy of oppor­tu­ni­ty for all to rise upwards from a basic stan­dard.”  —WSC, WOLVERHAMPTON, 23 JULY 1949

“In Amer­i­ca, when they elect a Pres­i­dent they want more than a skil­ful politi­cian. They are seek­ing a per­son­al­i­ty: some­thing that will make the Pres­i­dent a good sub­sti­tute for a monarch.”  —WSC  TO LORD MORAN, 19 MAY 1955

Churchill quo­ta­tions by kind per­mis­sion of the copy­right hold­ers and Cur­tis Brown Ltd., from Churchill by Him­self, Ebury Press and Pub­lic Affairs, 2008.

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